This is the subject of my latest Science Progress column, in which–following on this important editorial by Bruce Alberts in Science–I celebrate the rich diversity of career choices that young scientists seem to be making–a diversity that could ultimately redefine the term “scientist” itself. An excerpt:
I agree with Alberts that there appears to be a paradigm shift out there, a generational change in the science world. It’s not merely that science grad students and postdocs don’t want to grow up to become their professors or advisers; it’s also that in many cases, they simply can’t. The academic opportunities just aren’t there; there has been a marked constriction of opportunity in the ivory towers. Furthermore, many students don’t see a life of academic specialization as the best way to employ their scientific talents. They recognize that specialization’s disadvantages go hand in hand with its advantages. They want to do something more, to bring science to the rest of America.
And America needs them.
You can read the full column here, where you’ll notice that it also celebrates my coblogger as the epitome of this new trend…